One of the first things that caught my eye after landing in Paris this year was the interesting behaviour in the trains of Paris, Le Metro. Parisians seem to feel very much "at home" while in the Metro. Last year I saw a girl clipping her nails in the Metro, very casually.
Anyways, from Charles de Gaulle airport we took the train to the city centre which takes roughly 20 minutes or so. I noticed a very well dressed guy, suit and tie, hair in place, even shining, sitting on a seat further back. In his hand he had this huge 2 litre juice carton. He casually opened it and started pouring it down his throat like it was a small swift bottle of water.
On the four seats opposite him, a group of young girls all dolled up to go out were sitting. One of the girls takes out a can of something. Could be paint, could be hairspray, could be anything I think to myself. She takes off the lid and places the can in her mouth and starts spraying... Cream or cheese I don't know what it was. Ah well, bon appetit.
The fish burger at McDonald's (tragic I know, it was midnight, we were hungry...), it is actually smaller than the fish burger in Sweden yet still more expensive. I could hardly find it in the little teeny weenie box it came in.
Crépes!!! One of the best things about Paris is the "on the go" street food that's available. Quiche, Sandwiches, Crépes, Croissants and Pain du chocolat etc. In particular the Crépes that can be eaten either sweet or salty. They usually cost between 1.5 Euros up to 4 Euros, on the streets that is. In Chatelet there was a Bengali Crépe maker who made the best Crépe with mozzarella, basil and tomato.
Then we have the numerous Halal (Muslim equivalent of Kosher) kebab places and restaurants, mostly in the Montmartre/Barbés area of Paris. Turks or North Africans are usually the owners although I found this little Pakistani run Pizza Place. Of course I start speaking Urdu with them which resulted in us all getting free milk tea! All the pizzas had an added Pakistani touch to them. Lots of oil and spices. That my friends, requires a whole other post on how Pakistanis convert other foods into their own food culture.
At a Chinese place in the Bastille quarters, also known for their numerous Kosher restaurants and Moroccan Sephardic Jews, I was surprised pleasantly of course, by how aware they were of the food regulations Muslims have. She pointed me directly to all the non pig related foods.
At one of my favourite Chocolate and Pastry shops, Pierre Hermé, I was about to buy 6 pieces of a pastry called Cannelé. The posh but polite man in the shop stopped me and said “non, non, il y a de Rom!” (No, no, there is Rum in it).
That made my day…
*Blogger won't for some reason upload images. Will update with some pics later.